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Ruto throws weight behind Sh11 billion car grant for MCAs

By Daniel Psirmoi and Benard Sanga | Published Wed, May 23rd 2018 at 00:00, Updated May 22nd 2018 at 23:56 GMT +3
Deputy President William Ruto, Siaya Senator James Orengo and his Elegeyo Marakwet counterpart Kipchumba Murkomen during the opening of the 3rd Annual Legislative Summit in Mombasa County. [Photo: Courtesy]

Taxpayers may be forced to fork out Sh11 billion to hand MCAs a grant to buy top-of-the-range vehicles.

This is after Deputy President William Ruto on Tuesday indicated that the Government would support a proposal by MCAs to have car grants, just like MPs, if it is approved by Parliament.

Number of MCAs

There are 2,224 MCAs in Kenya (1,450 elected and 774 nominated) and if the ward reps have their way on the Sh5 million perks, their car grant will cumulatively cost the taxpayer Sh11.12 billion.

“There must be fairness and equity in our legislative arms of Government. I'm asking the National Assembly and Senate to formulate mechanisms where legislators based at national and county levels are treated equally,” said Ruto.

“When there is finally an agreement in the Senate on the matter, and it is passed in the floor of the House, we will do our part,” added the DP, speaking at the Third Legislative Summit in Mombasa, where he gave the keynote address.

This was in response to demands by MCAs at the session, who insisted that they should be entitled to the same benefits their counterparts based in Nairobi had, since they do a similar job.

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Shanzu MCA Maimuna Salim, in whose ward the summit is being held, sparked off the debate after she told the Deputy President that they, too, required car grants like MPs, and also needed a kitty akin to the Constituency Development Fund.

“MCAs play a critical role at the grassroots, but our problem is that we have been abandoned. As people who are on the ground, we need to be given cars and a development kitty in our wards,” she said.

Other MCAs, who are officials of the County Assemblies Forum (CAF), led by their chairperson Charles Osoi (Kajiado County Assembly Speaker) and his deputy Esther Ndile (nominated), supported the demand.

Devolved funds

A Bill sponsored by Senator Irungu Kang’ata (Murang’a) that proposes to give MCAs control over billions of shillings in devolved funds is currently before the House.  

Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen told MCAs they would soon have the money in their wards.

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